North Korea and Egypt: friends with benefits

Analysis: As Egypt’s biggest tycoon snuggles up with Kim Jong Il, does the US even care?

SEOUL, South Korea — Egypt’s biggest businessman holding hands with Kim Jong Il.

This image, from an official photograph that also features the Dear Leader’s brother-in-law (below), leaves little doubt as to which side North Korea backs in the Egypt uprising.

It’s rare that Kim Jong Il personally receives a foreign visitor, much less allows his picture to be taken while firmly clasping the hand of one. Nevertheless, mobile-phone tycoon Naguib Sawiris got his very own squeeze while visiting Pyongyang in late January.

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